Goodbye to all that

The centenary of the First World War has been over now for almost a year. I count myself lucky as I started my PhD exactly 100 years from the beginning of the war, and I ended it the same way in 2018. Each year of my PhD I lived through the war vicariously through the... Continue Reading →

Doing History in Public Again

I don’t usually weblog, but this short piece about the importance and challenges of public history by the incredible Dr Jessica Meyer at Leeds University is an important read for the state of modern academia for historians.


IMG_4460I was on television last night. If you follow me on Twitter, then you will probably have seen this already. Given that I was speaking to Daniel Radcliffe for Who Do You Think You Are?, both I and my department were quite keen to publicise this event.  Since the broadcast, there has been quite a lot more interest, and some very interesting discussions about historical research for factual television, letters from women to soldiers during the First World War, and the significance of the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery at Dud Corner. In other words, this bit of academic public engagement, me bringing my historical expertise to bear on a popular subject in a very public forum, went as well as I could have hoped when my meeting with Dan was filmed back in May.

What has made this experience slightly ironic, however, is the coincidence of the publication of…

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Bad Bod: Body Shaming in the Military

Body shaming in the military is not new. For centuries recruits have been tormented and shamed to encourage them to be fit to fight. However in the face of extreme Fat Shaming in the twenty-first century of both genders, this article considers the changing focus on the body in the last two centuries and discusses bullying, suicide, and abuse as part of the attainment of the perfect military body.

#iminabook: Personal Suicide

Today I read my name in a book for the first time! Excited does not cover it, so in this overly sentimental reflection of my 'tragic' life, I really just want to say thank you for the love and support to get me from the brink to a book!

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